Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Sharp objects

Usually, when one gets a gunny talking about sharp objects, the subject will be knives.  However, we aren't talking about knives, we're talking about razors.  Yep, as in shaving.  And yes, you are on the right blog.  Bear with me a bit.

As I'm getting older, I find myself going back to a number of old values and old ways.  I think I'm doing this partly because it's a way for me to flip the bird at a lot of change for the sake of change and partly because it gives me a touchstone to a time when things were (allegedly) slower and simpler.  A place where I find level, steady ground on which to stand, if only in a mental way.

When you work in high tech, this can be pretty important.  My business is change and driving change.  At my level, you look for ways to introduce change to benefit your employer.  Change is your friend and companion.  You do change or you do unemployment.

But at home, in my life, I'm getting a bit tired of change.  Sure, I'll buy a new whatever when I need it, but I find myself getting a bit amazed at all the new features that have been added in the decade or so since I bought the last dishwasher.  Buying a new car is about like watching the hillbillies go to the big city, since that happens every 13 years or so.  About the only things that don't throw me are electronic gadgets, and that's a spill-over from work.

I'm also pretty much over our love of disposable this and disposable that.  A bit over a week ago, I needed a new razor--the old disposable was dull.  Being thrifty and a prepper, I buy the things in quantity.  However, there are 4 of us in the house now who use them, and with two of them female (which means they only seem to get 2-3 uses from one), I got a bit of a shock--that last 36 pack was down to 3.  I got more of a shock when I jumped on Amazon and saw how much the things had went up.

Being thrifty and a prepper who is over our disposable culture, I have previously considered ditching disposable razors, but always gave in to the convenience.  This time, something in me was pissed off enough to say "No".  I had inherited my father's and grandfather's Gillette butterfly double edge razors, but honestly, those razors had seen many mornings and were fairly well worn.  I decided that thriftiness aside, I liked my skin in one piece and a new razor might be the best choice.  Some research later I wound up with an Edwin Jagger DE89Lbl Lined Detail Chrome Plated Double Edge Safety Razor (say that fast three times) and an inventory of blades suitable for a novice with a double edge razor. So for about 1.5x the price of 6 months of razors for the family, I have a year's worth for me.

OK, maybe it doesn't completely satisfy the thrifty thing.  It satisfies the rest of it.  And I've found out something else--it's a better shave in many ways.  I remember back to when I was a kid and I'd sit on the laundry hamper and watch my Dad shave in the mornings when he was home from traveling.  I can think a bit about the day that's starting--but just a bit, because you better pay attention to that sharp steel sliding across that tender skin.  I reconnect to generations of men who performed the same ritual in the same way with the same tools (well, they used a mug and a brush--those are my next moves, once I'm more confident in my ability) every morning of their adult lives.

In some small, almost weird way, I feel a bit better about things.  Yep, things are still going sideways, but it seems a little more manageable with a good, close, clean shave.  The ritual grounds you in place and time while reaching back through time to your ancestors.

Yeah, this is a plus.

No comments: